Life these days! Ugh! Am I right!?!
We struggle with stress at work, in our relationships, mental health issues, and don't get me started on the news. It's easy to let the stresses pile up and stick with us. Because stress is so familiar, we adapt and don't always register it. Stress can start to feel normal.
But just because its familiar doesn't mean it’s normal or that it needs to continue.
Here's an exercise to help you deal with some of that stress and let it go:
Take a big deep breath that goes all the way into your belly. Then blow all the air out...feel free to let there be an audible "ahhh" sound as you breathe out. Sometimes were so stressed we forget to breathe deeply. Breathing deep starts to calm your nervous system.
Scan your body for tight areas. Maybe focus on your shoulders or your jaw. If those feel tight, relax them on purpose. See if you can consciously let some stress go. Wiggle your jaw or shrug your shoulders up and down. Sometimes we don't even realize how tight and stressed we are. But you have the power to notice stress and let it go.
Keep breathing deeply. With each breath, see if you can relax your shoulders or jaw just a bit more.
Do this for at least 10 breathes.
Thank yourself for being nice to your body
Upper division emotional/intellectual application of this exercise:
Just like body stress we carry, we also have emotions or thoughts or stories that we carry around that we can let go of. Are you carrying shame or resentment or regrets or negative thoughts that are weighing you down? What if you could notice those and let them go, just like the tension in your jaw or shoulders? The process is similar: breathe, identify the stress, and actively work on releasing it.
While these exercises are simple, they aren't always easy. They take practice. And having support is helpful.
If you have extra stress you're carrying, therapy can help identify it, unpack it, and let that shit go. Get in touch today and take a step towards feeling better!